Film Review I Am Not Madam Bovary

Preston, England
October 17, 2018 5:04pm CST
Spoiler alerts - 2016 Tonight's movie review, doubling as today's diary, as little more went on today is a very good Chinese comedy drama shown at the Preston based International Film Festival. The film was preceded by a short entertaining appreciation talk on Chinese Cinema history, followed by free Chinese snacks including fortune cookies and Wasabi. The film itself stars Fan Bingbing as a village peasant, Li Xuelian. She has come off badly when a scam she and her husband organized backfires. With Chinese Law stipulating that families can have only one child (a rule later repealed) and only own one house, the couple have staged a fake divorce so they can buy separate homes and then remarry. The scheme has failed because the husband has married a different woman, leaving Li Xuelian with nothing. When she tries to sue her husband she faces an indifferent chain of authority figures and vows revenge on them and her husband. She is angered mainly as the stress has caused the miscarriage of her baby (a major reason for her trying to get the new house). Though her ten year protest causes a few government officials to lose their jobs (for failing to see her stance as a consequence), others are more resistant but fearful of what she might do next. Ironically she has given up her crusade feeling she is getting nowhere but efforts to spy on her and talk her out of it end up making her start her battle again, but it is all or nothing as her ex-husband dies in an accident so she has nothing to gain anyway. After contemplating suicide she ends up working as a waitress, and meets the first lawyer whose career she crushed. They forgive one another. The government officials are not bad men. They just fail to see the impact of their big decisions on the ordinary citizen but recognize how a single leaf can affect the fate of the whole tree. Sometimes funny, but ultimately a very sad story told at a calm pedestrian rate but never dull. The UK trailer makes it look like a murder mystery but though the heroine tries to hire assassins early on in the film, she gives up on the idea quickly The trailer used here is much better Arthur Chappell
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7 people like this
7 responses
@Courage7 (21585)
• United States
18 Oct
Thank you for a great review Arthur. That Fan is in a spot of bother recently isnĀ“t she?
2 people like this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@Courage7 sadly yes - her tax evasions have caught her up.
1 person likes this
@Courage7 (21585)
• United States
18 Oct
@arthurchappell She is still missing right? or no?
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@Courage7 she has turned up safely - she faces heavy fines for her evasions
1 person likes this
• Midland, Michigan
18 Oct
Yum, fortune cookies and wasabi. I've never thought of having those two together. And I have to say that I'm glad you're no Madam Bovary. lol. It sounds interesting and I've never heard the story line before this. I don't expect that I'll go looking for this movie, but if I ever find it accidentally I might check it out. The odd thing to me is that they faked their divorce yet he was able to remarry someone else. Could they not sell their home to but the one she wanted instead? I will also say I tried to watch the trailer but it seemed to be more the recording of a song with images not a normal trailer. Maybe I got hooked up with the wrong link?
2 people like this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@MarshaMusselman The divorce scam was to secure a second apartment, not a better first one. They wanted to own both. In her case it was due to her hidden illegal second pregnancy. - The official trailer is misleading in concentrating on a five minute segment of the film where she tries to talk men into killing her ex-husband/ She grows out of that rage but the trailers make out like the film is a violent revenge action film - it isn't.
Starring: Chengpeng Dong, Bingbing Fan, and Wei Fan I Am Not Madame Bovary Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Bingbing Fan Movie After being swindled by her ex-husb...
1 person likes this
@MattMeng (3301)
• Hangzhou, China
18 Oct
In the past thirty years, one couple could only have a child, it is rather serious if they have another baby.
2 people like this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@MattMeng it was a desperate law to cut down the population - it caused a great deal of heartbreak and hardship
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@amadeo (78702)
• United States
17 Oct
But I did love the movie.Way back when?
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@amadeo it is a recent movie, from 2016
@amadeo (78702)
• United States
18 Oct
@arthurchappell was that the original or Home Box?
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@amadeo home box? Not aware of that one
@teamfreak16 (42537)
• Denver, Colorado
31 Oct
Unfortunately, Kung Fu movies make up my entire knowledge of Chinese Cinema.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
31 Oct
@teamfreak16 there are some interesting Chinese ghost story movies
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@teamfreak16 (42537)
• Denver, Colorado
31 Oct
@arthurchappell - I'll have to try to keep an eye out.
1 person likes this
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
18 Oct
It gave me chills. Wow.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@moonandstars well worth watching
1 person likes this
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
18 Oct
1 person likes this
@MattMeng (3301)
• Hangzhou, China
18 Oct
I am so glad that you like a Chinese movie, my dear friend. From this movie you could know more about the lives of common Chinese people.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@MattMeng it is a very educational movie
1 person likes this
@MattMeng (3301)
• Hangzhou, China
19 Oct
1 person likes this
@xander6464 (6024)
• Wapello, Iowa
18 Oct
I really love the idea of the theater giving fortune cookies. The trailer is awesome. That's some beautiful photography.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Oct
@xander6464 the fortune cookies were a one off for the film screening being supported by the city's Chinese community - it is a nicely done trailer
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• Wapello, Iowa
18 Oct
@arthurchappell That figures. The really good things always seem to be temporary.
1 person likes this